Obama's Bridgegate: Administration Stepped In To Make Sequester More Painful For Rural Schools


When Chris Christie’s “bridgegate” scandal broke, I wondered why President Obama’s efforts to make the government shutdown as painful as possible wasn’t treated with equal derision. After all, if shutting down a bridge in a fit of political pique is seen as petty and unbecoming of someone in public office, isn’t shutting down an open-air war memorial for no other reason than to cause anguish for veterans sort of the same thing?

Or here’s another example. How about stepping in to cause unnecessary financial hardships for rural schools in order to make a point about the sequester spending reductions?

WASHINGTON — A House Natural Resources Committee investigation has found that President Obama’s Office of Management and Budget ordered that sequestration cuts be applied retroactively to funding for rural schools over the opposition of the Agriculture Department.

The committee’s report released today, “A Less Secure Future for Rural Schools: An Investigation into the Obama Administration’s Questionable Application of the Sequester to the Secure Rural Schools Program,” detailed how last February the USDA had determined 2013 sequestration wouldn’t apply to 2012 funds that had already been distributed in the program. The White House stepped in and overruled the USDA, though both agencies haven’t turned over numerous subpoenaed documents that could reveal more behind the decision. …

“The Obama administration appeared intent on making this sequester as painful and visible as possible, and this was another example. Instead of working with Congress to make responsible cuts and reforms, the administration took the political opportunity to go after funds used to pay teachers and police salaries,” [Committee Chair Rep. Doc] Hastings said at a hearing on the report today.

“Bridgegate” was an egregious abuse of executive power, and as I’ve written before is Christie is found to have had any participation in it he should resign. But if we hold Christie to that standard, shouldn’t President Obama be held to it as well?

His abuses of executive power are much wider in scope, hurting far more people.